Helping your Child Branch Out from Starchy Foods - Feeding Littles

Helping your Child Branch Out from Starchy Foods

You are not a bad parent if your kid loves beige, starchy foods!

Foodie Judy here. I’m an Occupational Therapist specializing in feeding therapy with babies and toddlers. No matter how much variety you serve your children, it is still normal for them to prefer crunchy, beige, starchy foods – and cheese.  It doesn’t mean you messed up. It doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your child. We hope they’ll still eat many other foods, but yes – many kids tend to gravitate toward starches, snacks and anything with cheese.

Why do kids prefer these foods?

  1. First off, they taste great! When Megan does diet assessments with adults most people report that they love starchy or snack foods (and anything with cheese). The carb/salt combo is very palatable. There’s nothing shameful about liking the taste of these foods.
  2. Your toddler may find that a crunchy texture gives them the jaw resistance that teaches their mouths where the food is located. They learn that when they feel this crunch, it feels good inside their mouth, and because of this they learn to seek out crunchy foods more often. Check out our post on why kids prefer crunch from an oral-motor and sensory perspective (and how to utilize their preference to expand what they’ll eat).
  3. Many kids gravitate toward bread and pasta because they’re easy to chew and have a predictable, mild flavor. Think of how unpredictable very colorful food is – a blueberry can taste sour or sweet. Beige = safe and comfortable.
  4. Illness can alter your child’s sense of smell or taste. They may want these safe foods more when sick.

How can you help your kiddo branch out from beige foods?

  1. Take our Toddler Course! We walk you through basic feeding therapy techniques in a simple, manageable way!
  2. Count any interaction with a new food as a win.
  3. Serve less familiar toppings, sauces or entrees with a familiar beige starch.
  4. Make sure to check out the post on crunchy foods – there are some great strategies in it!

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